Last Friday, Patrick Bickers saw a beat-up car park in his drive-way. An unfamiliar man stepped out, with an unusual request.
"He came up to my doorstep and that's when he asked my wife if there were any children here in the house,” said Bickers, a Slocomb resident.
Many residents in Slocomb experienced the same solicitation. The man was selling educational children's books. Slocomb Police Chief Don White said residents did not like his approach because he asked inappropriate questions.
"How many houses in the neighborhood had minor children, which houses had adults in it. They weren't really interested in teenage kids so the minor kids brought a lot of people to concern,” explained Chief White of the Slocomb Police Department.
However, his business is legitimate. It's called Southwest and Advantage, and it is based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Some people even bought the books.
Neighboring counties had the same issue. Walton County police arrested a man employed by Southwest and Advantage. It was because he did not have a city business license, and neither did the man soliciting in Slocomb. Chief White said without one, it is illegal to do business in that area.
“People can gain entry into your house by false means by saying they're a salesman and they're really not. They just want to come in your house and see what you got,” he said.
It was for those reasons Bickers felt uncomfortable.
“In this day of age, the landscape has changed. It’s best to say that anyone like that, who fit the description, could have had alternative motives,” said Bickers.
Chief White said if a salesman comes to your door, ask to see a city business license and do business outside.